Biggest Poker Bonus
Last checked and updated: June 23, 2015
It would be difficult to find an online poker room that did not offer a deposit bonus to its new players. A lot of rooms offer a similar size bonus deal, but the ones listed here have bigger than average offers available.
The Betfair Poker bonus is one of the largest available online. There are four other bonuses that offer lower maximum amounts – you must choose which bonus you want to claim. The code for this bonus is SECURE2500.
The time limit to clear the bonus is short at 60 days, and the incremental amount of $500 is fairly high, so be sure that the minimum point requirement is within your normal play amount before going for this one.
Some of the other bonuses offer better value, but this is the biggest dollar amount. There is no matching deposit requirement either, so that is a big plus.
The VC Poker first deposit bonus has been changed to a maximum of €1,000 at 200% match.
The time to earn the required points is only 30 days which could be a bit of a stretch and the bonus is released in one lump sum, which is not good at all.
There are two other small bonus deals available. The smallest one, for €250 has no time limit on it and so may be a better choice.
You may find that we repeatedly use certain terms when describing the various bonus promotions on offer at different poker rooms; terms such as ‘wagering requirements’, ‘poker points’ and so on. After claiming a bonus or two you will no doubt be familiar will all the jargon, but in case you are not, we have explained some of the more common terms here.
Generally, all poker room bonuses are ‘pending’ until you have played some poker at the site, and earned a set number of points from doing so.
Pending in this case simply means that you know how much bonus money you are entitled to, but you haven’t been given it yet.
Usually ‘pending’ amounts will be shown in the cashier section of your poker account, so that you can see clearly what you are due and you can also see when it has been released into your real money account.
With every poker bonus there will be certain requirements that the player must complete before they are given the bonus money.
These requirements are usually referred to as ‘Wagering requirements’ or ‘Bonus Release requirements’, or even ‘Playthrough requirements’.
If there were no requirements placed on the bonus money, then what would stop the player from simply taking the free cash and leaving?
So the wagering requirements are there to make sure that the poker room gets some value out of giving their players these bonuses.
Usually, the wagering requirements attached to poker deposit bonuses are in the form of a set number of ‘player points’ that must be earned for each bonus dollar to be released.
The number of points needed can vary wildly across different poker rooms. But these points are just an arbitrary number made up by each poker site. The wildly different numbers used are probably just so that the player will not be able to compare different bonuses too easily.
The names given to these points can vary a lot too, from player points to poker points, action points, WH Points, and so on.
Essentially they are all the same thing – a way for the poker site to see how much you have played.
The use of the term ‘increments’ in relation to bonus deals refers to how the actual bonus money is released. Some sites release the complete bonus entitlement in one lump sum on completion of the wagering requirements, and other release the bonus in smaller increments as soon as the needed points are earned.
Bonuses that are released in small increments are almost always better for the player that those that are released in one go.
One of the more obvious benefits of a bonus that is released in increments is that you get to have your bankroll topped up as soon as you earn a small amount of the bonus, and then you are in the happy position where you are using some of the poker rooms own money to earn the points to release even more free money.
Another big benefit to getting paid in increments is that if you cannot complete the entire wagering requirements for some reason, you do not lose out on the points that you have already earned.
So, for example, if you deposit $500 in a poker room that pays out the bonus in one sum, and you only manage to earn half the points, you won’t get anything. But if you have deposited in a poker room that pays out in increments, in the same situation you would have earned half the bonus, so you would be $250 better off.
The term ‘deposit match’ usually is expressed as a percentage, such as 100% or 110%.
This refers to how your bonus amount will be calculated, and the percentage amount is applied to your initial deposit. So an initial deposit of $100 at 110% ‘deposit match’ would entitle you to a bonus amount of $110 ($100 x 110% = $110).
An ‘upfront bonus’ or ‘instant bonus’ is not very common in online poker, but some rooms do offer them.
It is usually a percentage of the total bonus amount that is released to your player account immediately on depositing, so that you can play with that cash straight away.